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NEW “SCARY” SPY INFO FROM IPHONE USER

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Hmm, maybe I should change my blog theme from:

“iPhone Makes for a Paradise Life No Matter Where You Are”

…to…

“iPhone Makes a Spy’s Life Paradise No Matter Where WE Are…”

:-/

Begin forwarded 12/19/10 message from a fellow iPhone user:

From: Apple Discussions Subscriptions <discusswatch@apple.com>
Date: December 19, 2010 4:14:42 PM EST
Subject: Apple Discussions: Topic “Unknown data usage early morning” in forum “Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth” has been updated by ed2020


ed2020 posted “Re: Unknown data usage early morning” in “Unknown data usage early morning” on Dec 19, 2010 1:14:37 PM.
——————————————
I’ve spent quite a lot of time recently investigating iPhone’s storage of personal data. Without going into detail you’d be *amazed* at how much is on there. Even after you think you’ve deleted emails, SMS messages, photos and apps they can be retrieved. The location data it stores is scary (even on a non-multitasking 3G): your location is logged hundreds of times a day.

You can get an idea of how much is stored by downloading an open source SQLite browser – a lot of the iPhone’s data is stored in SQLite databases and the iTunes backup files are often direct copies of these. There are apps available to read these files (and a lot more besides) direct off the device, without jailbreaking. Oh, and the PIN or passcode protection does nothing to prevent this so don’t lose your phone!

I haven’t yet determined how much of this data is transmitted without our knowledge (that’s next on my list of things to do) however presumably it’s being kept for a reason. I don’t know how much of this data is accounting for the mysterious high data usage people are seeing but it seems likely that we are paying for personal data to be transmitted to advertisers.

A couple of other observations:

If the data usage is personal data going to advertisers then it might explain why the discrepancy between the network operator’s stats and the phone’s usage counter (Apple probably don’t want you to know your phone is spying on you).

Erasing all content and settings, or restoring as a new device in iTunes, does not wipe all this data. Something to bear in mind if you sell your phone or take it to Apple for repair!
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We appreciate your participation in Apple Discussions.  Thank you for being part of our community.

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———————————————–

As someone commented in the 12/18/10 Wall Street Journal article:

Posted 12/19/10:
“YOUR APPS ARE WATCHING YOU” – WSJ Investigates iPhone & Android Apps:
http://paradisemobi.posterous.com/your-apps-are-watching-you-wsj-investigates


“I smell a website. Badapps.com or something similar that details the personal info transmitted by each app. Get on it, you techies!”  

Lol, agreed.  

(See also similar AP news article posted 7/30/10:

7/28/10: iPHONE APPS SPY ON YOU (Yahoo News/AP Article):
http://paradisemobi.posterous.com/72810-iphone-apps-spy-on-you )

brm123 in Apple Support Forums previously asked if there was another place discussions could take place besides AppleSupport Forums that would be free from Censorship.  A few suggestions:


1. Free Posterous Group:

Allows comments without moderation & without having to log-in.  There’s a lot of quirks I don’t like about Posterous but it might work for something like this.

2. Or an Email-list that could be used is YahooGroups:  http://groups.yahoo.com

Fairly easy to set up, allow “anyone can post,” no moderation, etc. People can subscribe to the email list Only (vs actually “joining the Group”), & choose Individual Emails or a Daily Digest version. There’s definitely no Censorship at YahooGroups, except whatever the Group Owner would choose.  The bad thing about YahooGroups is it doesn’t do inline photos in your emails.

3.  Or if any volunteers prefer a Forum vs a Blog or an Email-List, this site offers free forums software & it works well from iPhone, too:

Simple Machines Forum: Free PHP and MySQL forum software:

————-

I’ve got too many blogs to deal with as is, but if anyone else is up for the challenge, a possible name:  “The Bad Apple” or “The Rotten Apple” etc.

End of Ideas! :)

—————————–

“YOUR APPS ARE WATCHING YOU” – WSJ Investigates


IPhone and Android Apps Breach Privacy – WSJ.com:

———–

That’s a good article! dated 12/18/10.  Not too surprising but it does reveal the quagmire of confusion, lack of total transparency, & mega-greedy commercialism where nothing is sacred.  

Also linked from the same page:

The Journal’s Cellphone Testing Methodolgy”:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704034804576025951767626460.html

———–

Some of the reader comments:

(…)

Now I know why there seems to be a new agreement to consent to every few weeks before I can get to the app store on my iphone. (YES!  I have wondered about that, too!  It always unnerves me! /bg)  I’m just another idiot that consents without reading, as 99% of the users do. I’m glad someone is raising awareness on this topic. I will be more careful of which apps I use and download as the biggest offenders get outed by articles like this one.

I smell a website. Badapps.com or something similar that details the personal info transmitted by each app. Get on it, you techies!  

(…)

(YES!  Great idea!  I would love to know myself!  I never use games apps, & I never turn on “location.”  Mostly I use Safari & Mail apps, various notes apps, & photo storage apps.  Most of my homescreens are full of websites that I save. /bg)

———

(…) 

Mobile phone microphones can be activated remotely. The government can listen to everything you say, even when the cell phone is turned off. This “roving bug” feature has been used by law enforcement agencies and intelligence services to listen in on nearby conversation.

(…)

(I have always heard of that.  I guess I should quit talking to myself so much, lol./bg)

————-

More good links in this comment…

(…)

How many times I have tell you, this is real, illegal bull*** that companies do to ptotect their so-called corporate status, when the customer is the one, who make of a company what is it, is there where no customers, how a company can function, no way, no how, simple as that, but aside of that, there is the shadow that controls the media, in any way you could imagine, a global brain wash if you would called, here is the article in detail: 

On top of this, we are being tracked down, like dogs with a leash, so, what about the basic principles in which this country was founded?

(…)

Example of what I am talking about: 

(…)

So who want to control us all? that is the real question. 

Privacy is history, as I said in previous articles, there is no privacy, our personal information is being sold and distributed like inside of a Walmart Store. 

Global “Secret” conference to “rape your privacy rights” literally: 

On top of this, our Justice seems to notice what is the problem, but I bet a million bucks no-one ever has heard of this, and it’s real (please read the whole letter below link): 

So if we come back to the main topic of this conversation, if you like to know the truth about what this corporate companies do and how they reveal you personal info here is the links (all leaked information): 

Microsoft: 

Paypal: 

Myspace: 

Facebook:   (his post was cut short right there, at the WSJ site./bg)

(…)

—————

(…)

The government maybe the sponsor of these data grabbers as a part of the big brother is watching program. 

(…)

Indeed.  Lol.  People always want to run to the feds re these types of revelations, yet the one is in bed with the other.  /bg

———

(…)

A stalker is an anonymous follower and tab-keeper of another person or persons. Illegal and creepy.

The defense these stalkers use seems to be: We don’t know the victim’s name so we are not doing anything wrong.

IMO Flawed and creepy.

(…)

Stalkers.  Good term.  I didn’t think of that! /bg

————

(…)

I’ve been warning people from the very beginning. I have developed these technologies for web and wireless and was amazed by the potential for abuse. I guess knowing is bad business. I also know what will happen next…

(…)

Yeah but you didn’t bother to share what that “next” is… /bg

———–

(…)

Numerous papers on de-anonymizing have shown that it is quite easy to uniquely identify you using just a few scraps of “harmless” data (e.g. age, sex, zip code, income).

(…)

———–

Ho hum!  The surveillance & profiling society continues to grow by leaps & bounds!

Re top photo collage:

–“Big Eye of Apps” pic is from the WSJ article.

–“Spy vs Spy” came to mind (as a perfect depiction of what the article describes) because my brother used to read Mad Magazine when we were kids. :)

/bg

WHAT’s LURKING IN YOUR IPHONE DATABASE?

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Today I was organizing my email addys on iphone & I again noticed the TWO sets of google.mail.com databases under Safari/Settings. Why two gmail databases?

A few google searches led me here, where I learned there can be other culprits lurking in your database as well…

5/26/10:
“iPhone Safari browser privacy and security – history, cookies, cache, and databases” – devdaily.com:
http://www.devdaily.com/iphone/iphone-safari-browser-privacy-security-history…

~~~~~

Thanks for the warning in that article. I’ll keep a closer look on my database from now on.

As of now there are these databases under Settings/Safari:

1. Google Translate Phrases
2. Google Mobile Maps

3. iPhone User Guide

4. mail.google.com (all email addys under this one say 25MB Max allowed)

5. RLDGUID = a.ringleaderdigital.com (“a” as in ADVERTISING?!)

6. RLDGUID = m.whitepages.com

7. mail.google.com (all email addys under this one say 10MB Max allowed)

8. yahoo_services = mlogin.yahoo.com

~~~~~~~~~

Mysteries to me:

A. Why TWO SETS of mail.google.com databases (#4 & #7 above)? There are 20 of the SAME gmail addys in BOTH of those. I would like to delete duplicates but am not sure why there are TWO sets of mail.google.com databases in the first place? And why does the first set say 25MB Max yet the second set says 10MB Max? EACH database also has its own “GmailMobileWeb” thang.

B. Not sure what #5 & #6 RLDGUID’s are, either:

#5 RLDGUID evidently comes from http://ringleaderdigital.com/ who invented RLD per their site. I have no idea why this is in my database.

#6 RLDGUID, since it says whitepages, it may belong to a whitepages app I had but have long ago deleted the app as it was pretty useless.

C. I do have ONE yahoo addy, so I guess that accounts for #8.

~~~~~

If anybody has insight into any of the above, especially re Mysteries A (two mail.google databases) & B (the two RLDGUID databases), please do comment below.

Thanks!!

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